It is often said that weather does not respect political boundaries. Yet is it really so? Well, not always, I should say. In this post I present a selection of satellite pictures which show that cloud systems do tend to follow political boundaries.

In the satellite image below, the entire country of Sri Lanka is seen to be covered by cloud while the surrounding oceanic region and most of the Indian peninsula is cloudfree.

26-03-2010 1400Z

Similarly in the image below, we see the whole of Bangladesh covered by thick fog whereas West Bengal and the adjacent northeastern states of India have clear skies.

19-01-2010 0600Z

Here are two satellite images that show the state of Maharashtra to be free of any clouding while the four states of southern India are covered by clouds. The northern edge of the cloud cover closely follows the southern political boundary of Maharashtra, as if it is hesitant to cross over into the state!

01-12-2010 1400Z

14-01-2010 0900Z

The state of Orissa is seen in the picture below to have clouds confined within its territory while the surroundings states have quite clear skies.

30-05-2010 0000Z

India is divided into 36 meteorological subdivisions, like the state of Uttar Pradesh is divided into the meteorological subdivisions of East U. P. and West U. P. In this satellite picture we distinctly see East U. P. to be cloudy while the neighbouring West U. P. is not.

12-02-2010 0230Z

Fog naturally follows topographical features, and it is easy to spot fog over north India in satellite pictures by its northern boundary that follows the Himalayan foothills. But the southern boundary of widespread fog is seen in the image below to follow the southern boundary of the state of Bihar.

10-01-2010 0400Z

Again, in the fog situation seen below, the southern boundary of the fog matches the political boundaries of the states of U. P. and Haryana. It is also interesting that the fog boundary follows the India-Pakistan political border and Rajasthan is totally fog-free.

19-01-2010 0600Z

All the images in this post have been taken from the IMD web site http://imd.gov.in. I have mentioned the dates and times of the Kalpana-1 images, so that readers can draw their own conclusion as to the situations being just a matter of chance or that the weather does indeed follow geopolitical boundaries!

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